GAME Push Square

Update: In a statement provided to Eurogamer, UK video game retailer GAME has quickly denied the report it plans to stop stocking video games in its physical stores. It reads: "This reporting is categorically not true. GAME continues to support the physical gaming market, offering a wide-range of physical games, hardware, software, accessories and digital gift cards, in stores and online."

Original story: Boxed copies of video games are out and even more shelves stuffed with Funko Pops are on their way in, apparently, as a new report claims the UK retailer GAME will stop stocking video games. Sources speaking to e-sports outlet Gfinity say stores will only offer games and hardware via pre-orders instead of allowing customers to browse its stock in-store.

Those talking to Gfinity are said to be disappointed by the decision as it destroys the chain's "identity". This would be another step back from the physical video game market by the chain, which has recently stopped accepting pre-owned software and will soon kill its rewards program. Should the move prove to be true and come to fruition, it would mean customers only have reason to enter the shop to pre-order a game they already know they want ahead of time, and then collect it come the release date.

Brick-and-mortar GAME shops have already become a bit of a rarity over the years, as many individual stores have been shut down in favour of having space in larger Sports Direct outlets, with both brand governed by former Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley. The move will push consumers online — where many, much cheaper options exist — or to the PS Store for a digital copy.

Video game purchases are already heavily weighted towards digital versions in general nowadays, and in the UK, this preference is now likely to increase even further. It may soon be the case where CEX is the only outlet on the high street actually stocking video games, and even then, the company offers second-hand goods rather than brand new releases. There are also some independent stores, but they generally have more of a retro focus.

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